Improve Access to Solar Power in Developing Countries

Target: Dr. Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank

Goal: Encourage investment in solar energy projects to improve access to electricity and address widespread poverty in developing countries

Poverty is often the result of factors outside individuals’ control. One valuable way to help eradicate poverty is by increasing independence. Giving people in developing countries the means to take control of their own lives could help eliminate poverty in the world. An interesting take on this is giving people access to localized solar power.

For example students in Kunthur, India take solar batteries to school where they have access to solar panels. The batteries charge while they are learning and when the students go home they can use the batteries to power lanterns, ending dependence on the sun for light to study by, or for their parents to cook and clean by. Both impoverished families and the nation as a whole benefit from this increased productivity.

The poorest people in the world are paying more for energy, and are getting less of it at a worse quality. The governments of these developing countries can’t realistically spend billions of dollars on infrastructure like power plants and transmission lines. Therefore a better way to expand access to electricity is to employ green energy, and specifically solar energy, which is easily transportable.

The International Energy Agency estimates that 1.3 billion people currently live without electricity. Improving access would help eliminate poverty, and expanding solar power would benefit the environment. Call on the World Bank to invest in renewable energy projects for people in developing countries.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Dr. Kim,

I commend you and your colleagues at the World Bank for your commitment to universal access to electricity by 2030. Please focus your efforts on expanding solar power and other renewable energy sources, specifically. Consider partnering with companies such as d.light, which specializes in providing solar-powered electronics to people in developing countries.

Although the energy produced by solar panels may not seem impressive compared to coal plants, over the long term solar is truly the better option. Solar power systems are easily transported, allowing a much wider range of people to gain access. Its benefits to the environment are well documented. The governments of developing countries do not have billions of dollars to spend constructing transmission lines and power plants, and small-scale solar energy could be gradually implemented where it is needed most at a much lower initial cost.

Eradicating global poverty is a tremendous challenge, and improving access to electricity should be a part of any solution. I urge you to support a focus on solar power and other renewable sources as you work towards the goal of giving everyone in the world access to electricity.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Mathieudu68 via Wikimedia Commons

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